The Sea Research Society was found in 1972 to promote scientific and educational endeavors in any of the marine sciences or marine histories with the goal of obtaining knowledge for the ultimate benefit to mankind. It does both archival research and underwater expeditions, both scientific and in search of historic shipwrecks.

Since our founding over 40 years ago, we’ve been working hard to increase awareness of the importance of our marine habitats and nautical heritage, encourage the responsible use of our earth’s oceans, protect marine environments and their inhabitants, and uncover the mystery and history hidden below the waves.


The objectives and purposes of the Society center exploration and scientific expeditions as well as research (historical and scientific) and education, conducted through the Society or in partnership with outside individuals and organizations.

The Society also maintains a general membership of students, educators, researchers, divers, and enthusiasts who would like to stay in touch with the Society and in many cases actively participate in our initiatives.


Our primary initiatives are conducting historical and scientific research expeditions as well as exploring the educational opportunities that arise out of these endeavors.

Online, we’re working towards the creation and nurturing of an online community of SRS advocates and website members. Through this community the Society can better achieve it’s mission of educating the public as well as professional and amateur exploration & engagement. Another online initiative is the creation of an online library and shipwreck database that will provide others with access to the wealth of information the SRS possesses in it’s archives.

The Society is also committed to the creation of an educational research facility and museum devoted to underwater archaeology, maritime history, oceanography, marine biology, meteorology, and related arts and sciences.


Dr. E Lee Spence
Founder & Chairman of the Board of Directors

Spurred on by childhood tales of pirates and adventure, Dr. Spence, found his first shipwrecks at the age of twelve. He has since found literally hundreds of wrecks and has worked on everything from Spanish galleons and pirate ships to Civil War blockade runners. His best known discoveries are those of the Confederate submarine Hunley; the Civil War blockade runner/cruiser Georgiana; and the identity of the real Rhett Butler.

Rusty Whiting
Vice President – Training

Training Director National Academy of Police Diving (NAPD); Training Director Multinational Dive Educators Association (MDEA); Public Safety Director International Diving Institute (IDI); Operations Director Lighthouse Dive Services; Owner Whiting and Associates Diving Consultants; President Marina Divers Association; Instructor Trainer Ocean Reef; Hazmat Instructor Trainer.

Jim McNeill
Vice President – Arctic Expeditions

With over 26 years of Arctic traveling, Jim McNeill, founder of Ice Warrior, Ascot, United Kingdom, is an accomplished polar explorer, presenter and keynote speaker. In January 2001 he conceived the idea of combining his professional rescue expertise with his polar expeditioning into a long term vision known as the Ice Warrior Project.